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Pictures and write-ups on Goshawk

Some clarification on the use of certain terms.

 Raptors or raptorial birds, quote -"are warm-blooded egg-laying vertebrates characterized by feathers and forelimbs modified as wings." Then Accipiter are hawks that visit deeply wooded areas. The birds generally has short rounded wings and long rudder like tails, to assist them in maneuver between foliages.

For the Malaysian Bird list, I have grouped all these Accipiters as one under this family heading. The birds included  consist of these birds

1 Osprey 1 Besra
1 Hawk 1 Honey Buzzard
1 Griffons 2 Vultures
2 Goshawks 2 Sparrowhawks
6 Eagles 2 Serpent-Eagles
3Sea/Fish eagles 4 Hawk-Eagles
2 Baza 3 Buzzards
4 Harriers 3 Kites

Included within this large group of Accipiters are the 2 Goshawks that we get to see in Malaysia.

Crested Goshawk Accipiter trivirgatus
Chinese Goshawk Accipiter soloensis

These two Goshawks together with names of birds in the list, they are all birds of prey of a family Accipitridae and we called them simply as Accipiter. To those of us not involve with bird's name or terminology, the word "Eagle" is one familiar term used to describe these large flying birds or the use of the word "Hawk" - another common term. For the more discerning, there is an actual difference between Hawk and Eagle. The Hawk - generally smaller in size and the shorter wingspan which mans they are at the same time less powerful. 

From the many types of Raptors within this large group, I have created this page dedicated to Goshawk but unfortunately missing from this page is the Chinese Goshawk. So far this bird hardly roost here in Central Peninsula where I have no sightings and very little record to aid in my write up.

Crested Goshawk  Accipiter trivirgatus indicus

The Crested Goshawk breeds in southern India, Sri Langka, Southern China and the Sundas and Philippines. It is 43 cm in length. This birds has short broad wings and a long tail, designed to maneuvering through trees. Noting that the female much larger than the male.

The Goshawk, when seen from afar may appear as a big bird,  but look at its size. It is actually a relatively small Hawk. Even its call, the shrill scream is considered soft for a bird of this size. This is a bird of the forest edge and from personal experiences, I enjoyed the advantage of having a pair as resident of a public park near my house.

This bird sometimes chose bare branches at canopy level to perch but more often on a branch with lots of foliages. As a bird that is able to weave through forest trees and narrow openings among branches, I have seen the bird doing that type of flight at the lower level. During mating and breeding period both male and female stay together.


Crested Goshawk # 1

Crested Goshawk  # 2

Crested Goshawk  # 3

Crested Goshawk # 4

Crested Goshawk  # 5

Crested Goshawk  # 6

Crested Goshawk  # 7

Crested Goshawk  # 8

Crested Goshawk  # 9

Crested Goshawk  # 10

Crested Goshawk  # 11

Crested Goshawk  # 12

Crested Goshawk # 16

Crested Goshawk  # 17

Crested Goshawk  # 18


It took me some time to getting use to the term "Accipiter" to address this bird of prey. Somehow habits from the non-birding days, "Eagle" is one term that embedded and comes to my mind when describing them.

The Crested Goshawk, I repeat, though a large bird, its presence and movements hardly draw any attention of the locals and residents of the area. Taking counts, I was pleasantly surprised to note the frequency and big numbers available in urban areas, almost a pair would be roosting in many urban parks.

 Goshawk is slowly making its way up the list of the frequently encountered birds of public parks and open country. More, nesting every time and every where that I saw them. In the Rimba where I have ample opportunities, I watched them hovering and gathering thermal. These occasions, the bird must have being mistaken as a Brahminy Kite. Then these are odd situations, I think they do not hover that frequent or doing it as a daily ritual.